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Updated: Italy legend Pirlo replaces Sarri as Juventus coach

Former Italy and Juventus star Andrea Pirlo was Saturday named as the Italian champions’ new coach, just hours after Maurizio Sarri’s sacking.

Former Italy and Juventus star Andrea Pirlo was appointed the Italian champions’ new coach, just hours after Maurizio Sarri’s sacking with the club promising a “new chapter in world football”.

Sarri, 61, leaves Juventus after just one season, a day after the Italian giants crashed out of the Champions League in the last 16 to French club Lyon.

The 41-year-old Pirlo, with no previous top-level coaching experience, recently took over the Juventus U23 side and arrives on a two-year contract.

“The choice is based on the belief that Pirlo has what it takes to lead from his debut on the bench, an expert and talented squad to pursue new successes,” Juventus said.

“Today, begins a new chapter of his career in the world of football: from Maestro to Mister.”

Sarri took over on a three-year contract last summer, after leading Chelsea to a Europa League triumph, but failed to deliver on the promised revolution in style on the pitch.

Pirlo’s swift appointment, a day after their Champions League exit, is again a bold choice for club president Andrea Agnelli.

Other former players have turned to coaching such as Zinedine Zidane, Frank Lampard and Gennaro Gattuso, but Pirlo does so without experience.

The former midfielder does, however, know Juventus and its players well after an impressive four-year spell from 2011 to 2015.

“Pirlo has had a legendary career as a player. In his four years at the centre of the Juventus midfield, he won as many league titles, a Coppa Italia and two Italian Super Cups,” Juventus said.

He also won two Champions Leagues and two league titles with AC Milan.

Former Napoli boss Sarri paid for Juventus’s failure to advance in a tournament they have won twice, but not since 1996.

Juventus also lost the Italian Cup and Italian SuperCup finals this season, and finished just one point ahead of Inter Milan to win a ninth ‘Scudetto’ in a row.

“The Champions League, it was a dream before, now it’s a goal and going out like this is disappointing for us, for the players and for the fans,” said Agnelli.

“We need a cold and lucid analysis, knowing that in a few weeks we will start from scratch and we will have to do it with the same enthusiasm and desire to win.”

‘I have to call you Mister?’

Pirlo began his playing career at his hometown team Brescia in 1995 and went on to play for Inter, AC Milan and Juve before moving in 2015 for two seasons with New York City FC in the MLS.

Capped 116 times for Italy, he was a key figure in the team that won the 2006 World Cup.

Since the end of his playing career in 2017 Pirlo has been discreet in the world of football, mainly working as a television pundit.

But his lack of enthusiasm and often jaded air, have made him a popular figure on the internet with the slogan ‘Pirlo is not impressed’.

At Juventus, Pirlo will now find himself coaching some of his former teammates such as Juventus goalkeeper Giangluigi Buffon, a year older at 42.

“So now I have to call you Mister!?!?! Good luck for this new challenge Andrea!,” wrote Buffon on Twitter.

He will also have to manage five-time Ballon d’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo, the club’s 100-million-euro ($115 million) signing two years ago.

The 35-year-old scored a double on Friday night but could not lift his ailing side into the Champions League quarter-finals in his native Portugal.

Former Italy and Juventus star Andrea Pirlo was Saturday named as the Italian champions’ new coach, just hours after Maurizio Sarri’s sacking.

Sarri, 61, leaves Juventus after just one season, a day after the Turin giants crashed out of the Champions League in the last 16 to French club Lyon.

The 41-year-old Pirlo, who has no previous top-level coaching experience, has signed a two-year contract until June 2022.

He had recently been appointed coach of the Juventus U23 side, who play in the third division.

“Pirlo has had a legendary career as a player, winning everything from the Champions League to the World Cup in 2006,” Juventus said. 

“In his four years at the centre of the Juventus midfield, Pirlo won as many league titles, a Coppa Italia and two Italian Super Cups.

“Today, begins a new chapter of his career in the world of football, as it was said almost a week ago: from Maestro to Mister. 

“From today he will be THE coach for everyone at Juventus, as the club has decided to entrust him with the technical leadership of the first team, after having already selected him for Juventus Under 23. 

“Today’s choice is based on the belief that Pirlo has what it takes to lead from his debut on the bench, an expert and talented squad to pursue new successes.”

Pirlo began his playing career at his hometown team Brescia in 1995 and went on to play for Inter, Milan and Juve from 2011 before moving in 2015 for two seasons with New York City FC in the MLS.

During his four seasons with Juventus he won Serie A four times and one Italian Cup.

Capped 116 times for Italy, Pirlo was a key figure in the team that won the 2006 World Cup. 

He also won two Champions Leagues and two league titles with Milan during his 22-year playing career.

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